Body Composition Is Altered in Pre-Diabetic Patients With Impaired Fasting Glucose Tolerance: Results From the NHANES Survey

Valerie Julian, Romain Blondel, Bruno Pereira, David Thivel, Yves Boirie, Martine Duclos


Background: Previous studies suggest that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with a loss of muscle mass but the impact of fasting blood glucose (FBG) on body composition remains underappreciated in pre-diabetic subjects. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of FBG on lean mass (LM), fat mass (FM) and their distribution (trunk vs. appendicular), separately in middle-aged men and women.

Methods: One thousand nine hundred and eleven (1,911) men (63.9 ± 11.7 years) and 1,977 women (63.7 ± 12.1 years) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999 - 2004) were divided into four groups: normal glucose tolerance (NGT), low impaired fasting glucose (IFG), high IFG and T2DM. Body composition was obtained from dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results: Of the patients, 68.7% had NGT, 16.1% low IFG, 9.4% high IFG and 5.8% T2DM. After adjustment for age, body mass index, ethnicity, smoking, alcohol and physical activity (PA), no change in appendicular LM was observed between groups, but significant increases in trunk FM (in both gender) and trunk LM (in women) were found with increased glucose intolerance (T2DM > IFG > NGT), as well as significant decreases in trunk and total LM/FM ratios (T2DM < IFG < NGT) and a significant increase in trunk/appendicular FM ratio (T2DM > IFG > NGT).

Conclusions: Elevated FBG within the normal range is not associated with a significant loss of appendicular LM, but modifications in LM and FM trunk and total distribution with IFG suggest that nutritional and physical lifestyle strategies should be implemented in the pre-diabetic state.

J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(11):917-925


Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Body composition; Gender; Insulin resistance; Mobility

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